Convergence of parvocellular and magnocellular information channels in the primary visual cortex of the macaque

Authors

  • T. R. Vidyasagar,

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Psychology,
    2. John Curtin School of Medical Research and
    3. Centre for Visual Science, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia
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  • J. J. Kulikowski,

    1. John Curtin School of Medical Research and
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    • Present address: Department of Optometry and Neuroscience, University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, Manchester, UK

  • D. M. Lipnicki,

    1. School of Psychology,
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  • B. Dreher

    1. School of Psychology,
    2. John Curtin School of Medical Research and
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    • §

      Present address: Department of Anatomy and Histology, Institute for Biomedical Research (F13), University of Sydney, Sydney & NSW 2006, Australia


  • Present address: Department of Optometry and Vision Sciences, University of Melbourne, Vic, 3053, Australia

Abstract

We investigated whether responses of single cells in the striate cortex of anaesthetized macaque monkeys exhibit signatures of both parvocellular (P) and magnocellular (M) inputs from the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN). We used a palette of 128 isoluminant hues at four different saturation levels to test responses to chromatic stimuli against a white background. Spectral selectivity with these isoluminant stimuli was taken as an indication of P inputs. The presence of magnocellular inputs to a given cortical cell was deduced from its responses to a battery of tests, including assessment of achromatic contrast sensitivity, relative strengths of chromatic and luminance borders in driving the cell at different velocities and conduction velocity of their retino-geniculo-cortical afferents. At least a quarter of the cells in our cortical sample appear to receive convergent P and M inputs. We cannot however, exclude the possibility that some of these cells could be receiving a convergent input from the third parallel channel from the dLGN, namely the koniocellular (K) rather than the P channel. The neurons with convergent P and M inputs were recorded not only from supragranular and infragranular layers but also from the principal geniculate input recipient layer 4. Thus, our results challenge classical ideas of strict parallelism between different information streams at the level of the primate striate cortex.

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